God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness Parent Guide
This third installment in the franchise offers an illuminating look into a dramatic conflict between church and state.
Parent Movie Review
Christians looking for a dramatic conflict between church and state have turned to previous forays in the God’s Not Dead franchise for reasonably satisfying dust-ups. In this, the third installment, Reverend Dave Hill (David A.R. White) is the focus of attention. After a fire burns down his church, the university that owns the land upon which it sits decides they – figuratively – want to pave paradise and put up a coffee shop.
The arsonist is a disgruntled student (Mike C. Manning) who threw a brick through the building’s window and accidentally set off an explosion. Tragically, the angry outburst inadvertently took the life of a visiting pastor from Ghana (Benjamin A. Onyango), adding more fuel to the flames.
Determined to get his church back, Reverend Dave goes head-to-head with university officials, who are led by the school’s chancellor and good friend Thomas Ellsworth (Ted McGinley). For legal support, Reverend Dave turns to his brother Pearce (John Corbett), a crack attorney who, out of family love, accepts the case.
Immediately we sense some history between these siblings and it is arguably the best and most powerful aspect of this film. Put simply, Pearce’s faith isn’t rooted in the same soil as Reverend Dave’s. The conflict between them provides a compelling backdrop that eventually reveals the ecclesiastical leader’s own wrestles with his religious convictions. This is further enhanced when the young brick-thrower eventually confesses, with the hope of receiving forgiveness.
Typical content concerns are few in this PG-rated film. There’s no sex (other than some hand holding and a kiss). A college party portrays a bevy of young people holding the ubiquitous red cups, implying liquor is being consumed, and another adult drinks a couple of bottles of beer. However, there are verbal confrontations, and a few punches thrown. These, along with the opening explosion and depiction of a man being killed, may be scary for young audiences.
Likely to be most interesting to Christians, God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness is the best of the trio because it is willing to admit that Christians, and even church leaders, aren’t perfect. (As obvious as this notion sounds, it’s been lacking in many other faith-based films.) It also demonstrates how two opposing sides can work together toward a compromise that has the potential to offer a better solution for both parties. Here’s hoping that audiences will take these sermons to heart and apply them long after the credits have rolled.Directed by Michael Mason. Starring Jennifer Taylor, John Corbett, Tatum O'Neal. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release March 30, 2018. Updated April 6, 2018
God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness
Rating & Content Info
Why is God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness rated PG? God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements including some violence and suggestive material
Violence: A character vandalizes a church by throwing a brick through a window and inadvertently causes an explosion that takes the life of a pastor. The perpetrator confesses after some time. Two men (one a church pastor) engage in a short fist fight: we see bruising and a blackened eye. Characters engage in verbal confrontations in various scenes.
Sexual Content: Characters hold hands and kiss.
Profanity: None noted
Alcohol / Drug Use: College students hold red cups at a party, implying alcohol consumption. A character drinks a couple bottles of beer.
Page last updated April 6, 2018
More parents' guide for God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness after the break...
God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness Parents' Guide
When questioning religious beliefs, a character says it's good to ask difficult questions because uncertainty leads to truth. How do you feel about that statement? Have you had questions that have led to you discover "truth"? Does this only apply to religion?
What does it mean to be a "light in the darkness"? Again, is this specifically a religious principle? How can you help others?
A character says, "The whole world knows what the church is against, but what is it for?" Is this a valid statement? Do we often focus on what's wrong rather than what's right?
News About "God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness"
From the Studio:
A church destroyed. A congregation silenced. A relationship shattered. Yet even in life's darkest valleys, a small flame can light the way toward healing and hope. After a deadly fire rips through St. James Church, Hadleigh University leaders use the tragedy to push the congregation off campus, forcing the church to defend its rights and bringing together estranged brothers for a reunion that opens old wounds and forces them to address the issues that pulled them apart.
Written by Pure Flix Entertainment